*Check out the completed list of Top Worship Songs of 2013 here!
Happy Thursday! Here we are almost in June already… can you believe it?
As worship pastor for my church, one of my favorite responsibilities is finding new songs for our church to sing and worship with. I have listed some of the best, in my opinion, new songs or albums for corporate worship in 2013 so far! Hope this is a resource for you, friends. Enjoy!
Hillsong matriarch and worship music legend Darlene Zschech has written literally some of the best worship songs in the world, and her most recent live recording does not disappoint. With stadium anthems that are really quite versatile like we have all come to expect from Zschech, the album truly hits a high note, especially with appearances by Zschech’s longtime friend Israel Houghton, Kari Jobe, and Michael W Smith. A major highlight is the song “Victor’s Crown,”
which expresses the finished work of Christ and His authority. Other notable songs include the upbeat “In Jesus Name,”
a 10-minute track in which Zschech declares that physical healing is found, well, in Jesus’ Name, and the opening song “God is Here.”
God is Here
In Jesus Name
“Always Been About You”
Ed Young’s church is known worldwide for approaching ministry in creative ways, and their music department is no exception. Fellowship Creative has put out a true gem that has largely slipped under the radar, but there are some songs here that are just heaven-sent. Very contemporary and surprisingly keys-driven (well, don’t be too surprised! The pendulum is swinging from guitar to keys, these days). One of my favorites here is the title track, “Always Been About You,”
a dance-worthy number that actually has a solid choir part (are choirs making a comeback, too?). You also need to do yourself a favor and listen to “Beautiful.”
Always Been About You
“Nothing is Wasted”
The last few albums from Elevation Church have been good, but I’m really thinking that the worship junkies there have tapped into a new vein of emotion and depth in their songwriting with their latest “Nothing is Wasted.” Several of the songs will especially speak to those who are familiar with suffering of any kind, be it loneliness, physical ailment, or loss, among others, which is why I think this album has diverged from the group’s typical full, rock n’ roll feel to a more reverent and emotional chord. Noteworthy songs include “Be Lifted High,” “Open Up Our Eyes,”
and “Great In Us.”
Be Lifted High
Open Up Our Eyes
Great In Us
Here in the States, most would think that Hillsong United has “got Australia covered” in the realm of worship, but one of my personal favorites is Citipointe Live. One or two of their songs may not be extremely lyrically cohesive, but a clear passion for Christ pounds through in every track. I won’t lie either, I’m a total sucker for sopranos who can belt high notes in full voice, and one of their main worship leaders, Becky Lucas, does it ever so rightly. Standout songs include “The Ninety Nine”
and “El Shaddai.”
“More and More: Live”
BJ Putnam is an up-and-rising worship leader who has brought several notable offerings on his most recent live album. Think Israel Houghton here: very gospel music-influenced with an impressively high tenor voice. This style may not work in all churches, but it will shine in some! Some standout songs for me include the fun and dance-worthy “Glorious”
and the passionate duet between Putnam and Planetshakers veteran Henry Seeley on “Beautiful Love.”
“Passion: Let the Future Begin”
Chris Tomlin and his Passion army have unleashed on the Church another helping of soon-to-be worship favorites with their latest album. Unfortunately, I feel that a whopping percentage of the songs will be difficult to translate over for use on a typical Sunday morning, but there are a few beauties here that will really work and resonate with people. I love “The Lord Our God”
and “Come to the Water”
(mostly because I think Kristian Stanfill can do no wrong), and the theologically-rich “Jesus, Only Jesus”
is a powerful revelation of the Person of Christ – not to be missed!
The Lord Our God
Jesus, Only Jesus
“Vertical – EP”
Quickly becoming one of my favorite groups, Vertical Worship has delivered a quick follow-up to their full-length album from last year. The musical stylings from song to song is so diverse it’s almost amusing, ranging from simple and spunky acoustic to country folk to contemporary pop. But what’s even better is that each song communicates important – and equally diverse – messages, ranging from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to trusting God when He can’t be immediately sensed to finding restoration at the Cross. Particularly look at “I’m Going Free (Jailbreak)”
and “Light Shine In.”
I’m Going Free (Jailbreak)
Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive! What is a 2013 worship song or album that you think is really awesome? Please share with the rest of us in the comments below!